Driverless car startup WeRide raises $310 million in funding to take on the competition
WeRide, a Guangzhou, China-based smart mobility startup that develops L4 autonomous driving technologies, announced it has raised $310 million in funding as competition in China’s driverless car space heats up. The latest funding will give WeRide the much-needed boost as the company seeks to commercialize its technology.
The round was led by Yutong Group, a Chinese company that manufactures commercial vehicles including electric buses. A number of other new investors jumped on board while existing venture capital firms also participated.
Founded in 2017 by Qing Lu, Tony Han, and Yan Li, WeRide is a mobility startup powered by AI technology and Robotics. WeRide is China’s first-ever L4 autonomous driving technology startup company to obtain strategic investment from a top-tier global automaker alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.
The company currently has over 200 employees globally, 70% of whom are R&D engineers. Its core management team all has extensive domestic and international experience in technology development and business operations in both China and the USA at companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Baidu, DiDi, Cisco, and others.
In late 2019, WeRide launched a robotaxi project in Guangzhou and has since expanded to allow users to hail a ride through Alibaba’s Amap app. The company says it will launch trial operations for “Mini Robobuses” on Friday.
In July 2020, WeRide became the first in China and second in the world to test fully driverless cars on open roads, after the company obtained China’s first remote-control permit for road tests of Intelligent and Connected Vehicles (ICV).